Saturday, March 16, 2013

Clay Grotesques- Mythical Medieval Creatures

Gargoyles vs Grotesques

I love making gargoyles with my students, but with my largest classes ever, and a small budget it just isn't possible. What I've been making lately are chimeras/grotesques. The one benefit to this is they don't have to use as much clay, but still get to learn about these mythical, Medieval creatures.

What's the Difference?

First of all, you may ask 'what is the difference between a gargoyle and a grotesque?' 

Gargoyles decorate buildings, but are actually are used as rain spouts to convey water away from buildings. They have form and function. Or as I explain to the students 'they have a job.' So when they make a gargoyle, it has to have 'a job'- a pencil holder, I Pod holder, ring holder. Their choice. In their 'artist statement' they explain what is the function of their gargoyle. Our grotesques are a little different, they are just decorative and ornamental.

To make our grotesques, we start by rolling out a slab. They cut out the shape from the slab. They then can add clay, subtract clay or do both to make the features. We make these with Sculpty.  The life skills teacher helps us out and has her class cooks them for us. We then use acrylic paint to paint them.

What do you think about our grotesques? Do you have a project similar to these and would like to share? I'd love to hear about it!

If you'd like to see another clay lesson, look here.

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